For healing in its fullness | Sunday Observer

For healing in its fullness

Rev. Michael Lapsley
Rev. Michael Lapsley

Healing of Memories, a series of training and sharing sessions was conducted for the people affected by the April 21, Easter Sunday attack and subsequent racial violence, by Rev. Michael Lapsley, founder of the Institute of Healing of Memories (IHM), South Africa recently.

Everyone has a story and every story needs to be heard, said Rev. Lapsley speaking to the media at the beginning of the program. Though certain thinking patterns promote the division of human beings into two categories as ‘us’ and ‘them’ instigating violence at times, at the deepest level man is the same and his heart responds to the universal resonance of peace and love. Though as human beings you yearn for the truth and for the answers to questions as to who is responsible for atrocities and why they did what they did, in reality most of these questions are unanswered. However, healing begins when one realises that there is a terrible loss and emotional turmoil from that loss, but the fact that it cannot destroy oneself.

Rev. Lapsley, a former South African anti-apartheid activist, is a victim of a parcel bomb, which cost him his hands and left eye, and had caused severe burning of his body in 1990. He turned his personal tragedy into a clarion call for peace, by establishing IHM at Cape Town, South Africa. During the reconciliation period in South Africa, the institute assisted the Commission of Truth and Reconciliation, of South Africa, headed by Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

We believe that the process of healing and reconciliation is much

needed and for healing in its fullness both individual and corporate healing is needed. The HIM program, with the aim of ‘wholesome healing’, creates space for people to express and share their feelings and stories, paving the way towards healing in its fullness.

All workshops planned in Sri Lanka would be conducted in an inclusive atmosphere of an inter-faith-platform, enabling the religious communities to significantly contribute in their journey towards a life of wholeness, said the organisers. Rev. Lapsley has visited Sri Lanka about five times during the past three decades and has conducted facilitator trainings and healing workshops at different institutions, religious, state and private, in the districts of Colombo, Jaffna, Batticaloa and Galle.

He is here to support the healing process of those who were affected by the April 21 bomb attacks and subsequent incidents of violence. -VF